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Meg joins "Laid Bare" campaign to protect hens

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Meg Munn, Labour and Co-operative MP for Sheffield Heeley has shared a free-range egg breakfast with Compassion in World Farming in support of their "Laid Bare" campaign.

An EU Hens Directive bans the conventional battery cage as from 2012 and the purpose of the breakfast was to highlight the danger that this ban could be undermined by farmers just switching to "enriched" cages which offer no worthwhile welfare benefits to hens. Compassion in World Farming believes that farmers should instead change to well-designed and well-managed perchery or free-range systems.

Speaking at the breakfast, where she joined Celebrity Chef Sophie Grigson, Meg said

"As compared with conventional cages, "enriched" cages give each hen only 150cm? of extra floor space - that is just the size of a post card. They also contain a tiny amount of litter, a nest-box and perch, all of which are largely inadequate. All in all the facilities in "enriched" cages are so minimalist that they fail to allow hens to perform their natural behaviours in a meaningful way.

Germany has already banned "enriched" cages. The Government is consulting as to whether to ban them in England. I hope they will do so and also take the lead in persuading our EU partners to ban enriched cages when the EU Hens Directive is reviewed in 2005."


Photograph Meg Munn MP (right) with Sophie Grigson and a free range hen!




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